SYNOPSIS: More cloak ‘n’ dagger pop for lovers of mystery and mayhem, including some Sondheim, some Wire (actually two covers of Wire because we love them that much), and stuff like Nirvana and Joy Division. Also, two very obscure unreleased tracks, and lots of fun for the whole family. Listen up!
NEXT WEEK: Some of the stuff that’s been piling up on our desk for months…
Intro: “Jump” by Aztec Camera, from KNIFE (Sire, 1985) Just a fragment of this languid beauty, originally a massive hit for Van Halen; look for the long version that has a chaotic rock freak out. Rumor has it that AC leader Roddy Frame was once considered as a replacement for Morrissey when he left the Smiths…
“Ahead” by Band of Susans, from WHORE: VARIOUS ARTISTS PLAY WIRE (WMO 1995) Oh, Wire! What other band would use the phase “I remember making the body search” as a refrain? There really aren’t enough forensic pathology pop tunes, are there? Almost everything on this tribute album is sublime, but this is definitely a Treehouse fave.
“Heart-Shaped Box” by the Vichy Government (unreleased 2006) I know almost nothing about this willful, obscure cover, which was made by an associate of our Ulster pal, Mr Reggie Chamberlain-King (whose music we also love). The passing reference to Soft Cell is very welcome.
“Sand” by OP8, from SLUSH (Thirsty Ear, 2002) Our beloved revolutionary sweetheart Lisa Germano and the guys from Giant Sand doing Lee & Nancy, with a genderflip for extra fun.
“Heartbeat” by Low, from A LIFETIME OF TEMPORARY RELIEF (Chairkickers, 2004) From their wonderful 4-CD box set of rarities. Another Wire cover—this time a home demo from very early in Low’s career.
“Send in the Clowns” by Tiger Lillies, from CIRCUS SONGS Tiger, 2000) The only thing wrong with the britmonsters Tiger Lillies is there’s only three of them. We think they should be cloned and turned loose on the world en masse. It’s rich, queer… and mesmerizing. Yes, your Uncle LD has a crush on Mr Huge, but everyone knows that already.
“The Man with the Child in his Eyes” by Mason Brown (unreleased 2005) Made as a birthday present for your Uncle LD by a young man of his acquaintance; wonder what we might’ve got for xmas if we’d played our cards differently?
“Dizzy” by Flare, from HOT HOT HANDS (Kuma-Chan, 2003) Flare recorded this for a tribute to Throwing Muses, and we took the liberty of making it very pointedly about a certain Texas son-of-a-gun…
“She’s Lost Control” from STRING QUARTETTE TRIBUTE TO NEW ORDER & JOY DIVISION (Vitamin, 2003) Speechless.
“Cotton Crown” by Elf Power, from NOTHING’S GOING TO HAPPEN (Orange Twin, 2002) You can keep your Neutral Milk Hotel: Elf Power is the only one the Elephant 6 bands to have any real staying power. Their lovely cover of Sonic Youth’s “Cotton Crown” from SISTER is just amazing. Of course all pop songs with sitars are amazing.
“Caribou” by Dudley Klute, from WISH ON A STAR (Dreamy, 2002)Monsieur Klute is a vet of the Magnetic Fields and the Three Terrors, and years ago was the singer for the criminally unknown electropop band, Kid Montana. Here he’s off wandering the range singing a Pixies tune. Love that harmonica.